We had read not long ago that a new farmer's market had opened in Hilo but had not been able to visit it until this past Saturday.
The Kino'ole Farmers Market is open on Saturdays from 7 AM to Noon at the Kino'ole Shopping Plaza (old Sure Save market location) at 1990 Kinoole Street, and the corner of Kahaopea Street.
Photo: Bok Choy - Chinese Cabbage
Featuring only 100% Hawaii grown produce and products, grown or made by the actual farm or seller, it is a lively and colorful, although still small, market sponsored by the Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation.
One major convenience is that since it is set in an area of the plaza's parking lot, there is ample parking space all around the cluster of individual seller booths and tents.
Photo: Dwight Sato demonstrating how to dry steamed fresh tea leaves in a wok.
Free cooking demonstrations are presented each week with convenient benches for attendees to sit while watching.
This past Saturday, Dwight Sato, agricultural extension agent from the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, with an electric steamer, a wok, a piece of muslin cloth, a laundry scrubbing board, a basket and an electric pot in which to heat the water, demonstrated how easy it is to steam and dry fresh tea leaves to make small amounts of brewed tea from your own little bushes growing in the garden.
The demonstration scheduled for September 29th at 9 AM will be by the Tamaka Farm featuring their aquaculture grown Chinese catfish. I was requested to do a small demo for Saturday, October 6th, and plan to make a grilled Japanese eggplant salad served with herbed Big Island chevre (creamy fresh goat cheese).
Photo: Chayote aka Mirliton
The booths ran the gamut from fresh veggies and fruit to potted plants, deliciously fresh Okinawan donuts and a variety of value added food products.
Photo: Calamansi or calamandin - small sour Philippino lemons
In this last category we ran into our old friends Aaron and Vinel Sugino and their ono Blue Taro label cookies, chips and snacks from Hakalau
Photo: Aaron Sugino of Blue Talo Label
PK Snacks also from Hakalua was there selling a wonderful array of lavosh, pies, cookies, macnut brownies, their own honey and assortment of fruit butter spreads.
Orchids and papayas made a statement in the booth from the Volcano Isle Fruit Company from Kapoho; potted herbs and fruit plants from the Moongarden Farms from Mountain View and avos, chayote, limes, rambutan and strickingly beautiful Hilo Rainbow lemons from the OK Farms located almost right in Hilo by Rainbow Falls.
Photo: Hilo Rainbow Lemons from the OK Farms in Hilo
Vinel Sugino was passing around samples of cooked Aremo, a small Japanese taro being sold by another vendor. Of course I bought some and prepared them at home that same evening.
Photo: Aremo - small Japanese Taro
Did I forget to mention that each vendor supplies door prizes which are given away throughout the morning to lucky attendees who take time to fill out little entry forms?
Photo: Andagi - delicious, fresh deep fried Okinawan Donuts
Visit the above and several other sellers, attend the demonstrations and win prizes at the Kino'ole "Hawaii Grown" Farmers Market every Saturday morning from 7 to noon.
Photo: Buttery Avocadoes
Whatever you buy here will be fresh from the farm and will not have accumulated more travel miles than you!
Photo: Small Island grown sweet pumpkins
If interested in setting up a booth, please contact Rusty at 938-4545 or through email@example.com
Photo: Veggie, herb and fruit tree vendor Moongarden Farms
(c) Sonia R. Martinez